#662: Rise of the Tangerine Goblin – A Blogger’s Apology

July 20th, 2016

It was 2011 and I had just read that, get this, Donald Trump announced that he wasn’t going to run for president.

The plus-sized oompa loompa running a race to see if he can get more bankruptcies or marriages by 2025 (current tally: four bankruptcies, three wives) made a big dog-and-pony show to say he wasn’t going to run for president although a lot of people really, really wanted him to.

So I took to an occasional blog I ran on the Huffington Post to mock this weird non-declaration in a piece called “Little Donnie Trump Not Going to Ask Homecoming Queen to Prom, Although She Would Totally Go With Him, He Swears.”

In it, “I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election,” became “I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to ask her, I would easily get her to go with me, have a wonderful time and get to second, possibly third base.”

“I will not shy away from expressing the opinions that so many of you share yet don’t have a medium through which to articulate,” stayed as it was, but added “My step-dad has some old cans of spray paint around, so expect to see ‘Chrissie is hawt,’ ‘I <3 Chrissie Ferguson,’ ‘Barry O is a Kenyan’ and ‘Slayer Rulez’ appearing down by the quarry as soon as I get my learner’s permit.”

Of course I mocked it. Donald Trump as president? Who would let that tangerine goblin near a local water reclamation district subcommittee?

The tangerine goblin, Cheeto Mussolini, took the Republican nomination last night.


“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” – A. Lincoln, 1861


“You have to take out their families.” – D. Trump, 2015


The Republican nominee for president of the United States wants war crimes.

I got involved in a Facebook discussion about Trump’s wife plagiarizing her convention speech from First Lady Michelle Obama’s convention speech eight years ago. Someone on the thread wearily complained about the media looking for “gotcha” moments.

I think the trouble with this whole race is that no one’s holding people to the “gotcha” moments.

Any other race, any other year, the mocking of the disabled reporter would be a gotcha. Calling Mexicans rapists would be a gotcha. Advocating different sets of rights for different religions would be a gotcha. “Laziness is a trait in blacks” would be a gotcha. Alleging a female reporter asking him tough questions was menstruating would be a gotcha. Threatening to use unprovoked military force to intimidate Mexico into paying for a wall would be a gotcha. Advocating U.S. troops commit the war crime of retaliation against combatants’ families would be a gotcha. Praising Saddam Hussein’s war crime of gassing Kurds would be a gotcha. Encouraging security guards to physically assault protestors at his rallies would be a gotcha. A candidate saying a Mexican-American judge can’t be unbiased during the ongoing fraud charges against the candidate would be a gotcha. Having ongoing fraud charges against the candidate would be a gotcha.

Howard Dean said “woo” and he was done.

Mitt Romney got nabbed on a quote about 47 percent.

And Trump rides high spouting a platform of racism, sexism and war crimes.

Maybe Trump survives on laughs like the ones I tried to generate. Our typical tools of “Catch candidate in lie, hold candidate to lie” don’t seem to work with someone who so slap-in-the-facingly handles contradictions with a big “Nuh uh. I didn’t say that.”

How do you deal with a goblin who feeds on your hate and “nuh uhs” criticism?

You don’t. You give him the goddamn nomination and pat yourself on the back for being so precious, wise and white.

I couldn’t listen to more than a few seconds of convention coverage at a time on the car radio driving to baseball practice. A few more seconds of boos from Cleveland, of hate for Clinton, for Islam, for Black Lives Matter.

Scalia is dead. RBG and Kennedy are old as hell. We’re picking the person who will fill those seats, perpetuating the president’s current political values for decades.

We’re picking the person who has the power to launch nuclear attacks.

My confessional doesn’t mean much. I don’t have as rough a go as the “Art of the Deal” ghostwriter who now shivers at the thought of Trump with nuclear launch codes.

But I’m thinking more about the laughs I once tried to generate. I have no delusions of influence, that bad jokes five years ago affected yesterday’s events.

Words have meaning. I’m sorry if mine were even of the type that feeds the tangerine goblin now leading the house that Lincoln built.

Political thoughts from the 2012 race

An apology for a story I killed a decade ago

Meet a man hunting Cambodian sorcerers

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